JLL buys CAPRA Global Partners to extend its fundraising reach

The Chicago-based broker is poised to close on a deal to acquire the London-based capital advisory firm of Anthony Biddulph, Nick Ridgewell and Luca Giangolini.

Global property services giant JLL has further signalled its intent to become a force in private real estate capital markets with the purchase of London-based CAPRA Global Partners, sister title PERE has revealed.

In a deal expected to be announced in the coming days, the Chicago-based broker will inherit a 13-strong team led by well-known capital raisers Anthony Biddulph, Nick Ridgewell and Luca Giangolini. Upon completion, Biddulph is expected to become head of funds placement Europe, reporting to Matthew Richards, JLL’s chief executive officer, capital markets, EMEA.

In CAPRA, JLL brings aboard a business which completed €850 million of equity raising in 2020 across 32 commitments for eight funds, as per the former’s entry nomination submission for the PERE Global Awards. Among the firm’s clients last year were BentallGreenOak, Boston Capital, Q Residential, InfraRed Capital Partners, Europa Capital, Genesta Partners and Red Tree Capital. Most of the mandates were in Europe, however the firm did raise capital for North American and Asia strategies too.

In addition to raising equity for funds and other vehicle types, CAPRA also sourced debt and secondaries and recapitalisation opportunities for its clients.

The firm was founded by Biddulph and Ridgewell in 2012 after leaving the placement agent Spearhead Capital Partners in 2010.

The addition of the CAPRA team is expected to complement JLL’s capital raising capabilities in the US where it inherited an equity raising team, led by its equity placement platform president Dan Cashdan, when it acquired transaction services firm HFF in a $2 billion transaction in 2019. JLL also has individuals responsible for fundraising assignments in Asia.

Biddulph: JLL’s incoming head of funds placement, Europe

The purchase signals a change in growth strategy for JLL which had attempted to build out its global fundraising team organically via a series of high-profile hires in 2019. The firm hired senior individuals from rivals including Hodes Weill, Lazard, Shelter Rock and others. Among the appointments were Matilde Attolico and Zeynep Fetvaci from Hodes Weill.

However, despite stating ambitious plans to rival these firms in private real estate’s capital markets at the time, the organic approach did not yield a significant number of mandates and many of these hires subsequently departed. For example, Attolico departed at the end of 2019 while Fetvaci joined London-based private equity real estate firm Delancey last month.

In acquiring CAPRA, JLL is now betting on an established team with a demonstrable track record in raising and placing capital for a more successful outcome.

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